Biography of Alfred Vickers, Gadsden County, Florida

Submitted by Barbara Boynton

Alfred Vickers was born in Georgia, August 12, 1815, according to his Bounty Land and Pension Application papers. Census records from 1840 to 1880 indicate he was born anywhere from 1812 to 1820. However, the 1900 census specifically asked the year born, and he gave 1814. He was a son of Joshua and Martha ?Patsy? Vickers. It is likely that Alfred?s birth place was Twiggs County, Georgia, as his father Joshua was on the 1818 Twiggs County Tax Digest and drew land as a resident of Twiggs County in the 1820 Land Lottery.

The Vickers family moved from Georgia to Henry County, Alabama, before 1823, and from there to Leon County, Florida, by 1825. George Oma Vickers, a grandson of Alfred Vickers, stated in a 1975 interview, that he often heard the story from his father, William Lafayette Vickers, of his Grandfather Alfred?s trip from Alabama to Florida. Alfred was a young boy who walked most of the way helping herd the livestock. They came in a wagon train and it took some time for them to arrive in Leon County.

Alfred Vickers married Matilda Brady around 1834. In 1838, Alfred was in the Florida Indian War, for which he received 40 acres of land in 1855. (See his Bounty Land papers)

In an October 1845 letter from Ezekiel Vickers to his brother Harris Vickers in Sabine County, Texas, Ezekiel gives information about Alfred, their brother, and then goes on to name Alfred?s six children: Delia, Eveline, Marthy Ann, Sarah Ann, Eason (Ephraim) and Arabella. More children were born to this family, as will be shown by census records. In Ezekiel?s 1845 letter, he stated that ?Mother and Alford? (Alfred) were on the place his Mother got for temp. It is not known what he meant by ?temp? unless it was a place they rented.

In the 1845 first statewide election, Alfred voted at the house of Will Johnson. William Johnson?s early land was in the E1/2 of NE1/4, Section 29 T2NR2W, which he purchased January10, 1827. This land was in the China Hill area (on State Road 12 about 4 miles west of Havana) and was the polling place where other Vickers men voted.

1840 U.S. Census, Gadsden County
Alfred Vickers- 1 male 20 and under 30
Females-3 under 5, 1 -20 and under 30

1850 U.S. Census, Gadsden County--7th District
Vickers, Alfred, age 35, occupation: farmer, birthplace: Ga (birth date would be 1815)
Vickers, Matilda, age 30, birthplace: GA
Vickers, Delilah, age 14, birthplace: FL
Vickers, Eveline, age 10, birthplace: FL
Vickers, Martha, age 9, birthplace: FL
Vickers, Ephraim, age 8, birthplace: FL (birth date would be 1841)
Vickers, Sarah, age 6, birthplace: FL
Vickers, Arabella, age 4, birthplace: FL
Vickers, John, age 3, birthplace: FL
Vickers, Alfred, age 1, birthplace: FL

1860 U.S. Census, Gadsden County
Vickers, Alfred, age 40, birthplace: GA (birth date would be 1820)
Vickers, Matilda, age 35, birthplace: GA
Vickers, Sarah, age 17, birthplace: FL
Vickers, Ephraim, age 16, birthplace: FL (birth date would be 1841)
Vickers, Arabella, age 13, birthplace: FL
Vickers, Joshua, age 7, birthplace: FL
Vickers, Lafayette, age 3, birthplace: FL
Brady, Alfred, age 13, birthplace: FL

1870 U.S. Census, Gadsden County
Vickers, Alfred, age 61, birthplace: GA (birth date would be 1809)
Vickers, Matilda, age 59, birthplace: NC
Vickers, Arabella, age 19, birthplace: FL
Vickers, Joshua, age 14, birthplace: FL
Vickers, Lafayt, age 10, birthplace: FL
Vickers, Martha, age 90 (this would be Alfred's mother, widow of Joshua Vickers)

1880 U.S. Census, Gadsden County
Vickers, Alfred, age 68, birthplace self: GA, birthplace father: GA, birthplace mother: GA, (birth date would be 1812)
Vickers, Matilda, age 66, birthplace self: NC, birthplace father: GA, birthplace mother: GA
Vickers, Arabella, age 28, birthplace self: FL, birthplace father: GA, birthplace mother: NC
Vickers, Fayett, age 21, birthplace self: FL, birthplace father: GA, birthplace mother: NC

1900 U.S. Census, Gadsden County, dated 6-18-1900
Vickers, Alfred, born 8-1814, age 85, widower, birthplace self: GA, birthplace father: GA, birthplace mother: GAU.S. Census, Gadsden County
Johnson, Martha A., daughter, born 1860, age 40, widow, mother of 7 with 2 living, birthplace self: FL, birthplace father: GA, birthplace mother: GA

As can be seen by the census records, birthdates, according to the ages given, varied from census to census. Ephraim?s Civil War papers give his birth year as 1838. Two of Alfred?s daughters buried in the Vickers Cemetery show birth dates of 1835, but not the same month and day.

In interviews in 1975, two of Alfred?s grandchildren, George Oma Vickers and Mrs. Tillie Durden, said that their grandparents were buried in the Vickers Cemetery near their home place. It is assumed that Alfred?s mother, Martha ?Patsy? Vickers, is also buried in the Vickers Cemetery, as she was shown on the 1870 census in Alfred?s household.

Alfred Vickers was a good farmer, a veteran of the Florida Indian War, and a Gadsden County pioneer. There are numerous descendants of this family still living in Gadsden County.

Alfred Vickers' Bounty Land Affidavit, 1854
Alfred Vickers' Declaration of Surviving Soldier, 1855
Alfred Vickers' Declaration of Indian War Survivor's Pension, 1892
Alfred Vickers' Affidavit Correcting Service Record, December 1893
Alfred Vickers' Claim for Indian War Service from 1832-1842